BLØF

April

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    8
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The spring reference in the title sets some expectations about the album's mood, which April generally deceives, as it is a quiet, introspective piece of work more in line with what can be expected from its predecessor, Oktober (perhaps Bløf should have gone with "November" this time). Calendar references aside, April is no musical sensation, but it actually sounds just fine in an unassuming way. This is basically European AOR of a softer variety -- not quite a set of ballads, but close. Midtempo songs employ plenty of piano and lounge-jazzy percussion, and Paskal Jakobsen croons as if either on a verge of a heartbreak or right over it -- or, considering that he not a teenager anymore, reminiscing of important heartbreaks gone by. The tempo falls to plodding sometimes, but it makes sense within the context of the songs (i.e., it's not boring), and more importantly, Jakobsen never slips into wallowing in self-pity -- he's elegiac, but never tragic. April sports no hooks, but this is not the kind of album that needs them, and so this is not a detriment, provided you are aware what you're buying into -- and that is basically a European answer to blues or even country: the sort of music that people who don't have blues in their bones play when they've got the blues. No need to overestimate it: this is a pretty watered-down specimen of the style -- but that unobtrusiveness is a part of the album's charm. When you get down to brass tacks, April is a great record to put on after a long hard working week, or on a rainy day, either in spring or autumn.

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